Talking About Mental Health With Vice President of Client Services For GeneDX, Rodney Baylor

As we continue to shed a light on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month, we would like to introduce you to Rodney Baylor, Vice President of Client Services for GeneDX.

Mental Health is often a topic swept under the rug in many communities and families. Signs of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and sometimes impulsive disorder can be ignored at times within the African American community because so many stigmas are attached.

Rodney has over 30 years of experience in the medical field industry working behind the scenes and conducting ground-breaking work to prevent illness that is often genetic.

GeneDx is a company that does genetic screening in the early phases of your life before the triggers began or even a preventative method.

GeneDx is also a clinical lab leader in clinical genomics and rare disease. The company has over 20 years of expertise in diagnosing rare disorders and diseases and pioneering work in identifying new disease-causing genes. GeneDX’s commitment to genetic disease detection, discovery, and diagnosis is based on sound science and enhancing patient care.

We Empower Magazine obtained an interview with Rodney Baylor.

Please tell our readers about GeneDx, its mission, and the impact you are embarking on with the company?

Rodney: Sema4/GeneDx is a global leader in the space of healthcare genomics. The company uses artificial intelligence to drive diagnosis to help patients discover their illnesses to make informed healthcare decisions about the best treatment options. This process helps them know sooner rather than later so they can begin to have a better quality of life.

What keeps you motivated to do the work that you do in the mental health field?

Rodney: Mental health is critical to all people. It is the cornerstone of what drives us. Without sound and clear mental health, we cannot make good decisions and be there for those around us, like our friends and family.

How do you balance your mental health?

Rodney: Each person is different, but balance is paramount to me. I like to sit on the beach and listen to the waves, listen to music, ride motorcycles, and play golf.

What words of encouragement would you have for anyone who is currently struggling with mental health?

Rodney: Don’t be afraid. Your mental health does not define who you are as an individual. Mental health has a negative stigma, especially in the African American community. People are afraid of being labeled, but there are so many different levels associated with mental health that people don’t know. It can range from people who have gone through traumatic life events and haven’t adequately grieved or a mental illness. It’s okay to admit that you need to talk to someone. Asking for help doesn’t mean you will be a victim of stigmatization. Please talk about it, whether it’s a professional or a loved one. Don’t let it consume you. You don’t have to go through the process alone.

What else would you like us to know about you and the work that you do?

Rodney: I’m committed to encouraging people to take the time to educate themselves about the dynamics of genetics. We are working by collaborating with other healthcare companies to improve healthcare outcomes. The goal is to make testing available to all, regardless of their financial background.

I also want people to become aware of genetic testing to build a healthier community. For instance, if your child has mental health issues like cognitive slowness or disabilities, you should ask your doctor if your insurance covers testing. Don’t let doctors dictate what essentially could be a missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis. Don’t hesitate to reach out to multiple sources in the healthcare industry, either.

We’ve had several patients diagnosed with different illnesses or conditions over the years. After the sequencing procedure, they were diagnosed with the appropriate condition. Unfortunately, after many years of being misdiagnosed, people have lost the opportunity to get the proper treatment. They received a worthless medication or a less effective option to give them the best quality of life they deserve. That’s why awareness is essential.

 

About Rodney Baylor

Rodney Baylor joined GeneDX in 2021 with over 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry. As vice president, Rodney leads client services and business operations, such as call center support, vendor support, and a concierge program in Maryland.

Rodney has serviced commercial and military (TRICARE) healthcare programs throughout his career. He has also run call centers, enrollment and billing departments, business process outsourcing, and state-based programs such as the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program and the Maryland Health Insurance Program (MHIP). Rodney spent many years working with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Horizon BlueCross BlueShield of New Jersey, and CAREFIRST BCBSMD. During his time with BlueCross BlueShield, Rodney assisted in delivering healthcare to more than 2.3 million members through the Department of Defense’s TRICARE Military Health Care Program.

Rodney is a Washington, D.C. native who has rich ties to the community and is a dedicated father. He is also a board member of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Baltimore, where he mentors young individuals who seek to reach success in the corporate world. When time permits, Rodney serves the community through service projects such as Moveable Feast, Helping Up Mission, and United Way Baby Drive.

About GeneDX:

GeneDx is a clinical lab leader in clinical genomics and rare disease. The company has over 20 years of expertise in diagnosing rare disorders and diseases and pioneering work in identifying new disease-causing genes. GeneDX’s commitment to genetic disease detection, discovery, and diagnosis is based on sound science and enhancing patient care.

 

Learn more here: https://www.genedx.com/

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